Radeon HD 5850 - Review in comparison

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Alejandra Rangel
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With the advent of the Radeon HD 5870 first and then the 5850, with a tight turn of the screw, AMD has guaranteed a good entry into the world of video cards ready for Direct X 11, still not natively exploited by any game but already within the star of some appearances, with Dirt 2 and STALKER Call of Prypiat ready at the starting gates. Therefore, if the 5870 fits into the range of medium-high price cards, the second, sold for about 240 euros, is positioned halfway between the GeForce GTX 275 and 285, approaching the second for performance but enjoying the support for new graphics libraries from Microsoft. The architecture of the 5850 is practically identical to that of its older sister, with which it shares the amount of memory - 1 GB of GDDR5 - and the Cypress graphics processor with production process

40nm, despite having two SIMD engines disabled and thus losing eight texture units, as well as having lower working frequencies. In short, the potential for a competitive product is all there, without forgetting some particularly interesting additions such as the presence, in addition to the double DVI, of the Display Port and HDMI, and the always pleasant awareness of having mounted something that makes sense even under the consumption, noise and temperature profile, lower than the same level cards of the previous generation.


Comment: "The Radeon HD 5850 outperforms the fastest single GPU card produced by NVidia, while costing less, and is therefore second only to the 5870 in this special ranking. Performance is not the 5850's only strong point, however. given that AMD has significantly improved the use of anti-aliasing and filtering algorithms, as well as of course the addition of Direct X11, so as to allow you to have new functions on the titles of the coming months and at the same time better see the past ones. it is also a great choice for a quiet, low-power and compact PC with energy use and

lower noise emission than other high-end cards. Speaking of the 5870, all that remains is to wonder if the additional $ 120 of the latter actually affects performance: the Radeon HD 5850 is actually slower but, in most cases, allows you to play recent titles smoothly at 2560x1600. with AA and AF at maximum - with the exception of Crysis Warhead set to Enthusiast - leaving us only curious to see what will happen with games based on Direct X 11. For most users, therefore, the Radeon HD 5850 will be more than adequate. "
Test: The tests took place alongside the video cards an Intel Core i7 965EE and 6GB of DDR3 triple channel, not really a system within everyone's reach. However, with a more than performing title like Far Cry 2, all at the maximum with AA at 4x and Af at 16x, setting the resolution at 2560x1600, the Radeon HD 5850 reached 40 images per second on average, six less than the 4870x2, seven compared to the 5870 but one more than the currently even more expensive GeForce GTX 285. Moving on to Crysis Warhead, setting it to Enthusiast, with anti-aliansing at 4x and resolution at 1920x1200, we reached 23 fps, three more than the 285 and four less than the 5870; this is pretty much the only case where you have to compromise to play convincingly.


Comment: "As pointed out in the previous 5870 review, we can say that the 5800 series seems to survive the hype it generates and proves to be a bargain when compared to DirectX 9, 10 and 10.1. We can only hope that the results repeat themselves. with the DX 11 so that the series becomes something that anyone upgrading to Windows 7 can look forward to. The Radeon HD 5850 we have analyzed today is smaller and cheaper than its big sister but that does not mean that it is not a large graphics card. The 1440 stream processors operating at the 725MHz frequency are more than enough to play all the latest titles and the card promises to be the most efficient DirectX 11 ready card even for those interested in overclocking. 5850 is slower than 5870 by about 15-20% in most tests,

resulting faster than the GeForce GTX 285, which is currently NVidia's benchmark for single-GPU cards. If we had to suggest a resolution at which to use the 5850, we would say 1680x1050, with which we can still set all the options to the maximum allowed level. Obviously many of the tests we did have pointed out that the card was able to go beyond 60 frames per second at 1920x1200 with anti-aliasing at 8x, but looking at DirectX11, we think that the 5870 will be a better choice to play at those resolutions on screens larger than 24 ".
Test: Once again the tests take place on Windows 7 64bit, with 6 GB of DDR3 and an Intel Extreme Edition series processor, the Core i7 975 in this case. Tests with the brand new Batman: Arkham Asylum show results 19% lower than the 5870, while consistently beating the GeForce GTX 285 at both 1280x1024 and 1920x1200 and giving about fifty images per second to the Radeon HD 4890. With Need or Speed ​​Shift it difference between 5850 and 5870 tapers to under 10%, with the GTX 285 chasing. Note that EA gaming struggles with multi-GPU cards like the 4870x2, a patch is urgently needed.


Comment: "Taking the Radeon HD 5870, removing 2 SIMDs and 15% of the clock frequency, as done on the 5850, you should have a performance loss of 23%. In reality this gap settles around 10-15% at depending on the resolutions, compared to a price difference of 31%. The result is therefore clear: the 5870 is the fastest single GPU card on the market and the 5850 is a value alternative. One thing that clearly appears from the tests is that, as things stand now, the 5850 has made the GTX 285 irrelevant, compared to which it is between 9 and 16% faster depending on the resolutions, while being less expensive than 35 dollars and supporting DirectX 11. Moving on to dual-card configurations, a pair of 5870s are the best match available, but they cost $ 760, while two 5850s ​​lose a bit in performance but yes.

stop at $ 520; Unfortunately, the scaling of Crossfire configurations is not as good as that of NVidia cards. In conclusion, AMD is preparing to have an advantage for the next few months, with the Radeon HD 5850 that in the price range above 220 dollars, is preparing to be the card to be taken ".
Test: AnandTech for its tests uses a Core i7 920, the usual 6GB of DDR3 and the equally rated Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Launching World of Warcraft, at all possible resolutions, the 5850 ranks behind only its big sister, the 5870, the 4870x2 and the GTX 295, which however have dual GPUs. In short, the results are remarkable and the detachment from the direct competitor, wanting to see the GTX 285 in this way, sees the latest from AMD in constant advantage, even by more than 20 frames per second. Same performance, more or less, with Resident Evil 5, where Capcom's MT Framework closes the ranks a bit but maintains its positions, proving once again to be a title that combines an excellent impact with an equally excellent optimization.


Summing up, the Radeon HD 5850 is what AMD had to get out of the hat: a card that supports DirectX 11, more performing and less expensive than any competitor alternative in the same price range and even in the slightly higher one. The 240 euros requested, while remaining a lot of money, are therefore justified and the characteristics of low consumption and temperatures make it good also from a Crossfire perspective. The only small doubt comes when thinking of higher resolutions, where, however, perhaps you feel more than anything else the lack of additional memory, since for the moment AMD does not seem to want to exceed the limit of the single GB, albeit of the very fast DDR5 mounted.

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